Federer, Roddick rip opponents to start US Open’s second week

September 1st, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 1 (DPA) Former champions Roger Federer and Andy Roddick turned in impressive straight-set wins, throwing down a challenge to rivals as they powered through into the second week of the US Open.Four-time winner Federer took a step closer to lifting his first major title of a subdued season as he turned in a near-flawless performance to crush Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 here Sunday.

Rodick, the 2003 champion at his home Grand Slam, rolled Italian Andreas Seppi 6-2, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4).

“I feel good,” said the 26-year-old. “It’s just a matter of getting into physical and mental shape. I’m excited, I cannot wait for the fourth round.”

Roddick had his way in “the most intimidating court in the world” against the world No.31, who has stalled in the third round at past slams.

Federer, seeded second behind French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic champion Rafael Nadal, is bidding for his fifth straight trophy at Flushing Meadows.

The Swiss earned revenge after losing to Stepanek in straight sets in Rome last May. “That loss hurt, but it’s a good win for me. I’m moving on, and that’s what I care about right now.”

Federer’s efficient New York victory silenced the annoying, strutting style of the Czech, who never got past the third round at the event.

“It’s good for me to not waste any energy,” said Federer, a 12-time winner of major singles titles. “I’m playing well and moving on in the draw. At the end of the day, what counts is winning the tournament.”

Federer’s comprehensive victory was his 30th straight at the Open, his last loss coming to David Nalbandian in 2003.

Federer squares off against Russian Igor Andreev who put out Spanish 13th seed Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Russian fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko, a semi-final loser to Federer at the last two editions, advanced into the fourth round over fellow Russian Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.

Former junior champion Gilles Muller took well over three hours to complete a marathon victory against Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (3-7), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), 7-5.

On the women’s side, Jelena Jankovic continued her bid to wrest the number one ranking from compatriot Ana Ivanovic, reaching the second week over Dane Caroline Wozniacki 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

Olympic champion Elena Dementieva, the losing 2004 finalist, stretched her Beijing dream, starting with a 4-0 lead on the way to a win over China’s Li Na 6-4, 6-1.

The Russian faces off for the 18th time against Swiss Patty Schnyder, who came back to beat Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Jankovic as well as Dementieva have chances reach the number one spot depending on tournament results. Jankovic held the spot last month before losing it to Ana Ivanovic.

“Little by little every day I feel that I’m getting better and better,” said the Serb. “Physically I’m moving much better. My condition is getting better and better.”

Jankovic had to rally past the teenaged challenger for the second time in as many meetings, both coming at majors.

At Wimbledon, Wozniacki got off to a fast start before being pegged back by the 23-year-old seed.

“In the first set she played quite solid, putting all these balls back. She didn’t make any errors, I was the one who was all over the place,” Jankovic said.

She plays in the quarter-finals against Sybille Bammer, who beat former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 6-4.

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